Sunday, 16 March 2014

l'oreal miss manga + mybeautycompare

You may have already seen the rather kitsch advert for the L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara (if not, you can watch it here) and thought that the lashes that girl is sporting are rather incredible. Alas, the mascara she is promoting do not give quite such amazing results but it's nowhere near below par.
L'Oreal's Miss Manga mascara is one that I've been reaching for fairly often as of late - surprising, as I own the purple shade. Purple mascara may seem a little "outrageous", or at least a throwback to your early teens, but as this shade of purple is fairly dark the results are quite subtle. Here I've teamed it with the Laura Geller Inkwell Waterproof Gel Liner in Purple to make the colour more noticeable, and I have to say I'm rather fond of the results - I'm imagining it would look even more stunning on brown eyes too.
 The cone-shaped wand does a great job of getting to every lash, and the volume it gives is pretty impressive. However, beware of applying this too generously, as it has a tendency to clump a little after a few coats. On the upside it doesn't flake and stays put all day, so much so that it's a little difficult to remove at night. But don't let that put you off as this is a great little mascara (I'm sorely tempted to buy the black version, someone stop me).

I thought I'd share a website that I've been using a lot lately, in case it's of any use to you as I sure do find it helpful. It's called My Beauty Compare, and it's a price comparison website, but - get this - it's for beauty products. You can search for virtually anything and it'll tell you the cheapest website to buy it from, and there's also a forum to leave reviews. Another nifty little feature is that it suggests certain products that you may like based on details such as skin type, eye colour etc that you put in when you register. The website is free to join and you aren't bombarded with constant emails either - although there is a newsletter that you can opt in to receive.

Do you know of any other handy money-saving websites I should know about?
*PR Sample.

Friday, 28 February 2014

february favourites

Better late than never, right? I'm so sorry for my absence, I've been revising like crazy for school recently (gotta prioritize) and it still doesn't seem to be enough, but thanks for sticking with me!

I've introduced a few new products into my daily makeup routine and I have to say that I've been loving them all. I've tried the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer before but I've never owned it in the right colour for my skin tone, so I finally bit the bullet and bought the shade Fair 01 and it seriously is as good as everyone says it is. It gives a good amount of coverage on both blemishes and undereye circles and doesn't wear off throughout the day -  if you haven't already tried this I'd highly recommend it, especially if you're on a budget.

A rare hair product favourite comes in the form of the VO5 Plump It Up Dry Backcomb Spray. It's essentially a dry shampoo with a bit more "oomph" to it, and is great for giving some extra volume at the roots. Unlike most other dry shampoos I've tried, it doesn't leave my hair with a slightly white tinge and doesn't give that horrible powdery feeling either. For the price, I'm impressed.

Rimmel released a few new A/W shades of their Apocalips line late last year, and I've only just gotten around to picking up a few to try out. It's difficult to describe the formula of the Apocalips Lip Lacquers, they apply similar to a lipgloss yet are far, far more pigmented (I'm not kidding, these babies are intense) and wear well throughout the day - they stain your lips as well so the need to reapply is pretty much nonexistent. Eclipse is my favourite shade by far, it's a deep berry colour that can be built up to look very vampy or just dabbed on for a less full-on look.

For Christmas I received a beautiful little bareMinerals set, and the star products have to be the Prime Time Brightening Primer and the Round The Clock Waterproof Eyeliner in 4PM. The primer can be used as an eyeshadow in itself, or layered underneath power eyeshadow - it's a shimmery champagne shade, almost identical in colour to MAC's Retrospeck. The eyeliner is a dark purple shade and a great alternative to black, which I find can look a bit too bold on on days where my makeup is more natural. It's well-pigmented and lasts the whole day, although it does smudge a little bit - but then again it seems that all pencil liners do, I swear they've got it in for me.

Again, I do apologize for being away for so long, and from the looks of how hectic my life is at the moment I think I'll be on this break for a little while longer - but I promise to return so stay tuned!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

january birchbox

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer | Benefit The Porefessional | Rodial Glamtox Night | Itsu Miso Soup
Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser | Premae Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil

The January Birchbox is packed with treats as per usual, and includes a few rather well-known products that I can't wait to put to the test.
I'm especially excited to see the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer as I've heard so many great things about it but have never got the chance to actually try it out. It promises to strengthen and nourish hair as well as prevent breakages - sounds all good to me! The two skincare samples also intrigue me (as if I'd ever be one to turn down the chance to test a new moisturiser), and they'll be great for travelling as for the first time in ages I'm actually running low on travel skincare supplies.
I'm all about the primers at the moment, so the mini Benefit Porefessional will not go unloved, although from previous samples I have to say I do remember it clogging my pores - but we'll see, eh? Also the sachet of miso soup is a nice little addition, it's probably not for everyone but I'm a big fan of any kind of food being included in these beauty boxes - healthy or otherwise (gimme chocolaaate)!

Are you signed up for Birchbox? What was in your box?

Monday, 13 January 2014

l'oreal line of beauty

Let me start off by saying that this review has been a long, long time coming. I received a box from L'Oreal (back in oooh... July?) containing three eyeliners and an eyebrow pencil from the Super Liner range and I've given them all a very thorough testing.

Blackbuster is probably the thickest felt tip liquid eyeliner I've ever seen, and it's brilliant at creating very dramatic, thick eyeliners wings in no time at all by just pressing down the side of the felt pen on the eye where the wing should be. I find that sometimes I have to go over the line I've drawn more than once, as sometimes the formula has a tendency to lean more charcoal grey than intense black.
I received the Brow Artiste in the shade 03 Brunette, and I was scared to give it a go as I thought the colour would be way too dark for my light ashy brown eyebrows. However, when applied lightly it blends in perfectly and is now my go-to brow product when I'm going for a strong brow look (on a day to day basis I just use powder). The pencil also comes with an eyebrow tamer and on the other end there's a clear wax to help set your brows in place.
My favourite of the bunch has to be the Perfect Slim, I've mentioned it in more than one monthly favourites and it even found its way into my 2013 favourites. Truthfully, this is the only liquid eyeliner I use on a daily basis and it's a firm staple in my makeup routine. The teeny tiny nib allows for a... um... perfect wing and with a little practice, it takes no time at all. It's just the best, okay?!

The Super Liner Gelmatic is your average automatic black eyeliner - it's well pigmented and lasts the whole day, plus if you pull off the end there's a little sharpener so it's handy for travelling. The one bad thing I have to say about this is that it doesn't last half as long as any of my pencil eyeliners do and I'm nearing the end of it after using it for just a few months.

Overall I'd 100% recommend that you check out the Perfect Slim if you're in the market for a new liquid eyeliner, as it seriously is the best one I've tried so far. The Brow Artiste and Blackbuster are also worth a look if they sound like your kinda thing - especially if you find a good colour match with the eyebrow pencil.

Also I'm sorry for my sporadic posting recently, I hope you don't mind but between the tonne of coursework I've been landed with and my sleeping pattern being all over the place there just seem to be not enough hours in the day! Anyway, enough with the excuses and I'll try to post as much as I can, promise.
*PR Sample.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

empties #8

So it's out with the old and in with the new, and this past few days I've been hit with the spring cleaning bug so I simply must get this post up as soon as possible to allow me to chuck out all my empty bottles of lotions and potions. Plus I started off last year with my very first empties post so it's nice to turn it into some sort of tradition, right?

I don't usually mention deodorant as in my eyes it's a fairly mundane product, but I have to make an exception for the Dove Maximum Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant as it really is... exceptional, I guess. I always use cream deodorants (roll-ons are too sticky and I can't take aerosols with me on planes - I've been travelling a lot lately), and the bold claims and - not gonna lie - the high price tag intrigued me and I'm impressed. It isn't something I use daily as I feel that not allowing my skin to breathe 24/7 can't be good so I alternate between this and another deodorant, but for when I'm doing any sort of physical activity or am going to have a particularly long day I reach for this as it keeps my underarms completely dry.
Repurchase? Yup.

Lip balms are a product that I have at least two of on the go at the same time, and I've reached the end of the two that I'd been using daily. I didn't enjoy the Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve at all as I found that it left a film on top of my lips that ended up gathering around the edges of my lips (not attractive!), and I just used Carmex for the SPF but I don't rate it as a lip balm - my lips get addicted to it to the point where I have to keep reapplying.
Repurchase? Nah.

The Weleda One-Step Cleanser & Toner (review here) and the L'Oreal Skin Perfection 15 Second Miracle Cleansing Oil (review here) are both firm skincare favourites of mine, and I've already repurchased the cleansing oil as it's just that great at taking my makeup off instantly. I prefer using the Weleda cleanser in the morning, or in the evening on days when I haven't worn makeup as it's very gentle but still leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean. It stings something wicked if it gets into your eyes though.
Repurchase? Yes and I already have!

Another cleanser here, and it's Superdrug's Own Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser. I bought this to see how it compares to the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, and although it takes off makeup just as well I don't think it had the same effect on my skin in terms of preventing breakouts as the Cleanse & Polish.
Repurchase? Not at the moment as I've gone off hot cloth cleansers, plus I've heard that Superdrug's Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser is marginally better.

Of course there's a few average products in the mix, and this time around I've used up two body lotions - one is the Bliss Blood Orange + White Pepper Body Butter, which was nice enough and smelled like oranges, but the price is way too high. The same goes for the Molton Brown Ylang Ylang Nourishing Body Lotion, except I didn't like the scent nearly as much. Other products that didn't impress me were the Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap (it smelled like bathroom cleaning products and had exfoliating bits in it) and the REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream (average).
Repurchase? No to all.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

end of year favourites

That's right, I'm ditching my usual monthly beauty favourites post in favour of displaying my stand-out makeup products from the past whole year. Honestly I thought it would take forever and a day to select the best of the best from 2013, but it was surprisingly easy to narrow down what I'd consistently loved throughout most of the year.

Let's start off with my favourite lipstick of all time (so far!), MAC's Brick-O-La. I'm aware that is quite a bold claim for a lipstick obsessive, but there's something about this muted red that makes it oh so wearable whether worn opaque or just dabbed on lightly. It's a few shades darker than my natural lip colour and helps waken my face up as soon as I've applied it. I have a full review with lip swatches here if you're interested.
2013 was also when I discovered my two favourite mascaras - the Essence Multi-Action mascara (review here) and the Covergirl LashBlast 24HR mascara (review here). They both make my lashes look long and full, and I couldn't choose between the two as I wear each just as often as the other. I prefer the Essence mascara when I want to make my lashes look amazing, as it delivers marginally better results in the volume stakes, however as the Covergirl mascara's name suggests, it stays put all day and doesn't flake at all.
My most-worn blush has to be theBalm's FratBoy, although I have been reaching for the Sleek Blush in Flushed in the past month or two, I have to hand it to theBalm as I don't think I strayed from their blush at all at the start of the year. As for contour, I really only have one option and it's the NYX Blush in Taupe. Despite being a (fairly) new addition, I've quickly fallen in love with it - more specifically, its ability to mimic a natural shadow under the cheekbones and double up as an eyebrow powder as well. Holy grail product right there.
Another somewhat new addition, but one I couldn't help but slip in is the L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim* (which I still haven't given you a full review of - sorry!) as I'm sure you've heard me mention it in at least two favourites posts this year. I've now gotten to the stage with this where I can do winged eyeliner in a flash, and I love how versatile the thin nib allows you to be. Mine's drying up a little now, but you betcha I'll repurchase instantly.
Last but not least, of course I have to mention my favourite lip balm as that really is the one beauty product that I need - and the prize goes to a tube of nappy care ointment. Yes, I use Bepanthen as a lip balm, and I highly recommend that you do too as it is brilliant. Despite not being the most glamorous product on the market, this stuff will heal your lips up for good. I apply it every night before I go to sleep and use my NUXE Reve De Miel (which I've found is intensely moisturising, but only in the short term) in the day and after a week of having sore, chapped to the point of bleeding lips they're healed. Completely.

So that's about it from me this year, have a safe and happy new year and I'll see you in 2014!
*PR Sample.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

notd | festive season

 OPI The Thrill Of Brazil | Saffron Gold 08

What's Christmas without a little glitter? I've dug out the most festive polishes I could find to whip up something sparkly on my nails, and I have to say I like to end result a lot more than I thought I would. The Saffron glitter nail polish cost me no more than £2 (as soon as you open the bottle you can smell the chemicals), but as far as actual application goes, it didn't fair too badly. I used two coats to cover my whole nail in glitter, although I did have to wait for quite a while in between applications. The OPI polish was also two coats, and is the same shade of bog-standard cherry red that everyone owns about twenty of.

Also, I don't think I'll be doing a magazine freebies post this month as the only magazine that I could find that comes with anything is Elle, which has a choice of a few different Benefit goodies.

Have a great Christmas!